Pt. 4: Breaking Point
Summary: You can only take so much, before you reach your breaking point...
Disclaimer: see previous chapters
There was a light knock on the door and then a female voice spoke up.
"Puppy?" the voice said. "Are you awake?"
Green eyes blinked and then stared right ahead, and soft lips moved slightly as to let a reply come over them but there was no sound.
The door slid aside to reveal a slim woman standing in the doorway. She looked toward the bed, her light blue moving over the slender form under the quilt to the head resting on the pillow. In the light spilling in through the open door she saw stains of blood on the floor and on the quilt.
Her, till then, cold gaze soften as she gazed upon her son's face. She remembered being in his age, when being orphaned and having to make it on her own – any way possible. And she had. She'd learnt do con, steal and eventually even to offer herself without for a second letting it affect her, or it hadn't to begin with. After a while she became cold and calculating, seeing opportunities in anything – never for a second caring about who she was taking advantage of as long as she could gain something from it.
She blinked and the past gave way for the present and she was gazing down at her son again.
He would understand, she thought before she turned and left through the door which closed behind her with a soft hiss.
In just one night his life had been turned up-side-down and suddenly it was full of fear and uncertainty. He'd had plans for the future, for his life, that he would finish school and get a job and… and what did that matter anymore? One night, and it seemed so impossible out of reach.
It was his fault, Steffan thought. He had been too weak. He hadn't stood up for himself, or at least not enough, and his mother had seen it. He knew that she was a master in finding people's weaknesses and taking advantage of them. No one had ever escaped her.
He leant against the smooth wall of the shower cabin, covering his face with his hands, hoping that when he removed them and opened his eyes he would find that it was all just a nasty nightmare, but…
But when his hands fell away from his face, he was still standing in the shower and his body was still battered and bruised. He turned off the water and stepped out of the shower cabin.
Standing in front of the mirror he contemplated whether he should leave the bruises as they were, so that his mother would see what she'd caused him, but then he sighed knowing that he wouldn't allow himself to do that. He'd always been told that what really mattered was to look perfect and it had stuck with him, so he quickly covered up the dark spots on his face and neck and other exposed parts of his body.
When he arrived into the kitchen his mother was already sitting by the table, her attention at the holoscreen. Silently he sat down and stared at the table top.
"Have you slept well?" he heard his mother's voice beside him as a cup was set down in front of him, and he was astounded by the way she seemed to act like nothing had happened and this was just any other morning. Anger rose in him, but before it had gained ground it was squelched by an overpowering sense of helplessness. So what if he got angry, what would he do? It wasn't like he could just leave, he had nowhere else to go and he'd never learnt how to make it on his own. Avoiding the question he turned his face away.
He heard her sigh as she sat down again.
"I understand that it's all very new to you and because of that it may seem strange and a bit scary," she said gazing at the turned away face, "but with time it will be easier and you will come to enjoy it."
Steffan's eyes, focused on the table top, moved slightly in her direction but apart from that he remained still. He would come to enjoy it? He didn't think it was possible.
"But that's not what's troubling you, is it?" his mother said, having noted the slight shift of his eyes. He felt her hand stroking lightly over his hair. "May it be that you did enjoy it, and you feel ashamed for it?"
Steffan stiffened. He had not enjoyed it! Though… there had been moments, even in the most brutal ones, when he'd felt something – something that left him confused. How could he feel anything else than disgust for what's been done to him? He'd been violated, without care, treated like a whore and yet… yet there was a part of him, deep deep down, that even in the most anguished moments had felt something. But how...
His mother watched him, could almost see the thoughts going through his mind, deciding that this was a good time to… encourage them.
"It's okay, puppy," she said softly. "It doesn't have to be something to be ashamed of. What you felt was a natural reaction to what happened. You shouldn't fight it."
Steffan shook his head slightly, as to make the thoughts go away, but instead they grew more insistent. He recalled how he at some points had ceased to fight or, in the case of his first encounter, slipped out of the detached mode he'd been in to just go along with it, to… to enjoy it. He was reluctant to admit that though.
His hands curled into fists on his lap, his mother's voice mixing with the memories, showing him a picture in which she was right and whatever he said in his defense was wrong. He had enjoyed it, may it be for only brief moments but he had enjoyed it. It made him feel sick, that's not how it was supposed to be like – it was supposed to be tender, loving, and with someone you loved. Not because you were forced to do it.
This wasn't right… was it? His thoughts was racing through his mind, too fast for him to keep up, and slipping away as he reached for them.
His head turned slightly in her direction, but he didn't notice, a frown creasing his brow. But if she was right, and what he told himself wrong, that would mean…
"Puppy, it's okay."
"It's… okay?" he repeated silently now looking at her, like a confused child asking for verification on a question it just wasn't sure of the answer to.
His mother nodded encouragingly, taking his fisted hands in hers loosening them up.
"It's okay," she reassured.
His thoughts were suddenly clear again, as if she'd given the confirmation he'd needed, and the frown slowly faded.
"It's okay," he repeated again, and this time both his face, which had smoothen out to a perfect - if detached - calm, and his voice seemed to have changed as he spoke again. "It's all okay..."